The Pessimistic View Of Human Nature In John Milton's Paradise Lost

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History has a tendency of repeating itself. Norms and laws may change, but viewpoints tend to fluctuate between being optimistic and pessimistic. This can be traced throughout humanity, with some decades being notably prosperous and optimistic and others being much more difficult and pessimistic. However, there are two periods in humanity that can be compared to on many different aspects and topics, with one of those topics focusing on human nature and epistemology. More specifically, whether the 1700s had an optimistic or pessimistic viewpoint on both human nature and epistemology and if the same can be said with the views of our generation today. With the many new discoveries being made during the Enlightenment, which would normally produce a more optimistic view on human nature, the outlook and views on human nature during the 1700s still seemed excessively pessimistic. It would seem that man is naturally drawn towards the topic of epistemology and obtaining knowledge, but during the 1700s it has given a negative While there is a rather negative view on human nature, which is exemplified through John Milton’s Paradise Lost, …show more content…
Thomas Hobbes continued this pessimistic viewpoint of human nature during the 1700s. Hobbes deeply believed that humans, stripped down to their basic form of nature, are naturally violent and brutish due to three causes: competition, diffidence, and glory. He writes in his book, Leviathan, that in order to subdue this innate nature, there must be some sort of authority figure, or leviathan, willing to enforce the laws that will protect the people. The primary way of achieving this goal is through instilling fear. When man is in such a condition where there is no law or a leviathan enforcing society’s laws, they are considered to be in a state of war against one another. During this time of “war”, Hobbes argues

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